Five Minute Stories

"Imagination is a wild animal that lives within us all.
For some people, it hibernates, rarely waking up.
While for others, it destroys logic and defies reason, inducing fear and wonder.
The majority of us control it. We guide, nurture and enjoy it.
However, sometimes this shackled beast needs its freedom, albeit briefly.
That is when stories are born."


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The Girl in the Cotton Dress story front cover

Two men serving time, sweating blood in the hot Mississippi summer heat. Each haunted by the sight of The Girl in the Cotton Dress. In a unscripted escape attempt, their friendship is severely tested and the young girl’s life hangs by a thread, woven into the fabric of their own futile existence. Trying to evade the law, their actions lead them into further trouble. The cost of their freedom reveals a devastating price tag.

Did you see or talk to The Walking Man? Where did he come from and where on earth did he disappear to? People are asking these questions, from news reporters and the town Sheriff, to the local store owners and puzzled residents. A man of mystery, a man of destiny, or simply out of this world?

The Walking Man - a short story
From the Grave story front cover

Would it be possible for a decomposing corpse, so evil, that it is able to evolve as a phantom and escape From the Grave? Somewhere, on the edge of a decaying city such a creature exists, crawling through the excrement of our civilized world, seeking only warm human flesh to sustain its existence.

Businessman Richard Barrat travels to New York in 2001, keeping in touch with his office and his pregnant wife, Sarah by email and text. As the story unfolds, Richard ‘s plans take him closer to Lower Manhattan in the days leading up to September 11th. Dear Sarah is a haunting epitaph to the thousands of people whose lives were lost or changed throughout the painful minutes of that day.

Dear Sarah story front cover
Dreamland story front cover

Move into the digs at 22 Benton Street in the Liverpool of 1981, when Margaret Thatcher was fighting the striking mining unions and IRA prisoners were on hunger strike. Meet Liam, Rosie and David, along with other unemployed residents, existing on dole money, cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. Their empty lives sustained by friendship, UB40 and knowing that each night they might escape to Dreamland.

Dogs, cats and birds, predators and prey, each part of the complex world of nature, regardless of their domestication. Natural instincts will always prevail. take five minutes to cloak yourself with Feathers and Fur and witness a single event on one April evening,  from the perspective of each.

Feathers and Fur story front cover
The Lighthouse Keeper story front cover

Max brindle is a convicted felon, incarcerated in one of the converted prison lighthouses, which litter the nation’s coastline in the year 2049. When Max first reports the snakes dropping down to earth, like rain, he is dismissed as a fool. However, this strange phenomenon soon evolves into a deadly plague of biblical proportions, threatening the existence of the entire human race. As bureaucracy disintegrates, The Lighthouse Keeper, is able to leave his prison and witnessing the devastation in the local town, realizes that he must kill once more if he is to survive.

It was Ron’s first trip to New York since the tragedy of September 11th 2001. Perhaps his mind was not concentrating on the the corporate meeting ahead of him. Perhaps his business colleagues were having a strange effect on him. But if he were to have any more Big Apple Shakes then he would surely lose his mind, if he had not already done so.

Big Apple Shakes story front cover
Karnivaland story front cover

For some, reality is a dream while dreams become their reality. The writer moves through his own nightmare, searching vaguely for sanctuary, tormented and distracted by the most surreal characters and situations. Blown like a leaf in a storm through a Karnivaland of earthly delights and spiritual torment, never knowing who to trust or where his destiny will take him.

Racism is a powerful word, but does the use of an alternative diminish the offense? History does not always record the persecution of those with minority beliefs or genetic heritage in this way because the history books are rarely written by the defeated. Nomads and Kings  is a simple story of a small community facing ignorance and persecution as they attempt to live in harmony with their neighbors.

Nomads and Kings story front cover
Weirdo story front cover

Peek through the dingy curtains into the world of Brian, a loner and from what we learn, a complete Weirdo. What exactly is he plotting in his lonely solo existence. A world without close family or friends, a troubled being in need of guidance. They say that it takes one to know one, so tread carefully, if you should understand the motives of this Weirdo, keep very quiet.

If the world is a stage and we are merely the actors, why have we so little control of the outcome? As each scene is acted out, we learn a little more about ourselves, yet the creator of our Last Seen is at a loss to understand the shifting scenery and changing characters. As his whiskey-bottle hourglass empties, so does his mind’s concept of reality. Confused? Not as much as Edward Mancini.

Last Seen story front cover
Shadowman story front cover

A foggy night in old London Town is always a good setting for a creepy yarn. If that has not stopped you, read on, smell the deadly fumes of a London smog, especially dense along the docks of the River Thames, where smoking tugs pass one another, their klaxons screaming, get out of my way! A witness to this, yet oblivious to all around him, is a young man, standing at the waters edge, the only feasible exit from his troubled existence. Unknown to him, the Shadowman lurks, watching, waiting.

What kind of mess has The Kid landed in? He wanted to be a cool mobster, had the right contacts and thought he was going to be a big shot. Alas, the road to being a mafia boss is full of sink holes, they kind of open up when you least expect them. Then before you know it you’ve been swallowed up, never to get back on the road again, your life (or your body) in pieces.  Just one small miscalculation can lay you in an early grave.

The Kid story front cover
Lynch Town story front cover

If you ventured west, back in the 1800’s you’d come across many places such as Lynch Town, where justice was mostly delivered by a six-shooter. If the vigilantes, desperados and gunslingers didn’t get you, the Comanches were never far away. Should you be lucky enough to stand trial, you’d probably end up swinging from the end of a rope. If you were alone and entering a town for the first time, the rule was to keep your head down, be friendly and stay well away from trouble. But for Joe Preston, that simply wasn’t possible.

The instinct of survival can reveal the most dangerous side of any animal. But as human beings, we have taken this far beyond any natural boundaries. In this story, The Dog Catcher, is merely the guy who removes the odd renegade mutt, while the less intrusive canine members, live in abandoned buildings and tunnels, at some unspecified point in the future. In a world where each animal looks after itself and its offspring, an unacknowledged camaraderie exists, until one of the poor creatures is infected by a rabid fox.

The Dog Catcher story front cover
Marco's Diner story front cover

Another bleak winter’s day in the city, where heavy snow, causes even the most sophisticated mechanics, to grind to a halt. ‘Don’t go out unless you have to’, warn the TV presenters from their warm studios. Those that ventured out into the white wonderland, soon searched for shelter, with some finding sanctuary in Marco’s Diner. The enticing smells of freshly brewed coffee, eggs, bacon and toast welcomed all who entered. All were welcome, except for one.

Deceived, doped, duped and disillusioned, could it get any worse? Does the mysterious Roxanne hold the key to the kid’s dilemma? The life of a mobster looked so glamorous; cool, untouchable  guys and gorgeous adoring women. Yet, scratch a little under the surface and the cracks start to show. They open and bleed, and expose the true nature of the underworld. Can The Kid survive in such a world?

The Kid 2 story front cover

Follow the bloody journey of a group of displaced, mismatched people. Share their frustrations and fears as they search for a safe place to exist, in a land where anti-government forces have taken control. A place where systematic killing and terrorizing are normal. A place where normal people reinvent themselves. A place where the threat of death is all around like a Dry Storm. Nobody knows where it will strike next.